I seek asylum in 2013, my asylum got refused. I spent 5 months in Harmondsworth detention centre then I was released. I was signing for 3 years at the immigration reporting centre, then they detained me in Scotland. Then they release me, then I was detained again and they gave me removal directions for Ghana.
I am from Ivory Coast not Ghana. I told the Home Office I’m not Ghanaian. The Home Office told me I could take a bus from Ghana to the Ivory Coast. They said they cannot take me to Ivory Coast so I must go Ghana.
The doctor in the detention centre made a Rule 35 report that said I have been tortured in ivory coast but they did not release me from detention.
I am part of a church in Manchester, they found me a lawyer. My lawyer sent faxes to the detention centre to stop my deportation, but the guards did not give it to me. I did not get the documents from my lawyer until this morning.
I want the church to not close their eyes to us. Justice is from the bible. The church must not close its eyes to injustice. I am sending a message to the entire church- they cannot let injustice go on like this. The word of god is about justice and righteousness. The church cannot keep its eyes closed in the face of injustice. Closing your eyes to injustice is being part of injustice. Christ died for justice and righteousness. The church needs to stand up like to protesters- they need to tell the world what is going on.
Last night, they called me from my cell, to say I am going on the flight. They took all of my stuff. They searched me, they take my belongings, they wouldn’t give my stuff back to me. They said I could have my stuff when I get to Ghana. I have it back now. Some people on the bus just have a little plastic bag- how can you be deported with just a plastic bag?
They took us to the bus. I had 1 guard beside me. They tell me we are going to another airport- I didn’t know where. After more than 1 hour drive we arrived. They said we have a “little problem”, we did not know what was going on. Eventually they said the flight had been cancelled. I couldn’t see them but we heard there was a demonstration. Police were all around. I did not know what was going on.
When something is wrong people have to stand up. The problem is with the Home Office. No-one checks on them, they have absolute power over peoples lives. They do whatever they want. People must stand up against injustice. We are very proud of the protesters. We hope they are treated well. They did the right thing.
I have been in the UK since 2010. In 2015 I claimed asylum, they asked me to sign at the immigration centre every week, later this was changed to once a month. I have done this until 2016, when I had an interview in Croydon. They refused my asylum, but the last thing the Home Office said to me, is that they would not take me away from the UK. In February 2017, I was at home, I heard a knock at door, there were ten police officers, and 2 immigration officers. They took me to the police station, and from there to Colnbook detention centre. After 1 month they still did not release me.
I have a 3 month old baby. My baby was in hospital for 1 month when I was in the detention centre. After 1 month, they gave me removal directions to Nigeria for the 28th of March. I contacted my solicitor they sent information about my situation to the Home Office but they ignored it.
If they take me back to Nigeria- what about my 3 month old baby? My partner is HIV positive, she is not working- she has to look after the baby, because of her medical condition, she can not cope without me. She is crying everyday. What happens if I am deported away?
Last night, they called my name around 5pm to get on the coach and go to Stansted airport. Once we got to Stansted, the officer’s told us there was a “small delay”. We couldn’t see the protesters from the coach. On the bus there was 1 guard to each person. You need 2 guards to go with you to toilet on the coach, they come into the toilet with you. There were maybe 30 people were on the coach. The were different coaches from different detention centres. The guards did not tell us what was happening. At about 1.30am they told us the flight had been cancelled. We got back to the detention centre at about 4.30am.
We are very happy about the protesters. Now we want to be released. We are not criminal. I never committed any crime.
If anyone can help us to get released from detention we will be really happy.
Thanks for protesting for our rights. People are so depressed here. Some of them are detained here from one year. We are not criminal but they treat us like criminal . We appreciate your efforts. Thanks again.
Today is D day. We are just waiting here.
I heard about the protest. I’m so happy. I’m so grateful. It’s one thing for organise the protest.It’s another for the home office to listen
Just keep doing it. When they see you doing it continuously they’ll listen. It’s not once off. If I’m out I’d join you.
I think the protest is a good one. To make people aware that mass deportation is mass slavery. They should not be deporting people – because I’ve still got my case pending in the upper tribunal. Why could they not let me finish my case and let me know if I have right to remain or not. I have put in an injunction to stop my removal – and I hope it will stop. I’m waiting for the judge. They’ve moved us to the G wing that is the section that they lock people like a prison. It’s just simple overstaying – they don’t need to be treating people like that. It’s human and degrading. It’s just punishment. Right now I’m feeling so bad. I’m feeling that there’s no human rights at all.
In August I was taken back to Yarl’s Wood when I went to report. Why they take me back I don’t know. My passport was due to expire in a week and I saw a ticket for a few days time because they were trying to rush me through. I’ve been living in this country for 20 years. I have 8 grandchildren and 4 children in this country.
Just after I finished visiting with my son they said they come to take me to isolation. I told them i am not going. They called security. Four big men came and manhandled me and put cuffs on me and slammed me on the floor. I am 52 years old, I had a heart attack last year, I have many sicknesses. I am a victim of torture. All this reminds me and brings back the memories of torture. One of the big men put his foot or his his big hand on my head to keep it down. They took me to Kingfisher which is the isolation. They throw me on the floor there, the floor is really dirty.
I was so traumatised I wanted to die. I took some tablets. On the way airport i told the officers I had taken tablets and took me to hospital and had to flush my stomach. That flight was canceled because they tried to rush it through. So they took me back to Yarl’s Wood.
Whenever I see the guards I am afraid. I lock my room now. I never used to do that. I run away when i see the guards.
This is the life in Yarl’s Wood.
On Saturday they locked us all up. We just wanted to see the people who were here for us and we couldn’t. All the women were really upset. We didn’t know this could happen in a country where I am supposed to be safe. You expect this to happen in Africa but not in Britain. So we are not eating, but we are weak.
This is like Guantanamo Bay. Really.
We are walking around like we are mad. We are not like this.
The guards don’t respect the women at all. Not the way they treat us here.
We are not talking to them. We are just staying in our rooms or move away when they try talk to us.
They are turning a blind eye to why we are on hunger strike. They just want us to eat, not even eat just they need your finger to scan so they count us for the dinner. They don’t care if we eat but they are loosing money. If it doesn’t go their way they go against us. They are not happy. When the food is not eaten they are loosing. So they just want your finger so they can say you have eaten. They do not care about our well being here. Even if you want to buy things from the shops you have to use the biometrics with your hands.
They said I am not eating so they won’t give me my medication.
They said it is from above, why they locked us up on Saturday. They haven’t explained it to us.
The night officer kicked the door, as if he was a wild animal to shut the door. It is so hot in here and we needed some air. I was in my room naked because it was so hot it was the only way to get some air. I was naked in my room and he came in and turned his body camera on. He is a male officer he shouldn’t even be here.
This is the 21st century and this is being done. You don’t treat any one like this. We have been working, paying taxes, contributed to the society. Why they have to bring mothers here, sisters, aunties. Our rights and our dignity are being taken away from us. They say they are security and are here to protect us but they are not protecting us. They are abusing us.
We are striking because of the way we are being treated here.
We have put in a complaint and people have signed it and we were planning on doing a hunger strike already from Monday but we brought it forward because of what happen on Saturday.
They say why do people do the protests outside when nothing has been happening. No one is released and nothing changes. If they really think that why did they lock us up. What is your fear? People come and stand outside in the rain and travel from all over the country to support us we need to show our support. If they really think that why do they put more officers on? Why are they so afraid?